Access to the Research Aircraft Facility
Requests for access to research flight hours begin with the submission of an Initial Request for Aircraft Support (Word (35kb), PDF (30kb)) to the manager of the facility. Based on information provided on this form, a DOE-empowered advisory panel recommends to DOE an award of flight hours for the proposed use. Then the user completes a more detailed Research Aircraft Deployment Document (RADD: Word (180kb), PDF (85kb)) in coordination with the RAF manager. RAF users not associated with the DOE Atmospheric Science Program will need to work with the RAF manager on an estimate of the cost of offsite aircraft logistics such as 1) landing fees, 2) hangar rental, 3) ground support facilities, and 4) labor and expenses for a PNNL flight crew of two pilots and two scientific support personnel. During the preparation of RADD, schedules are confirmed and safety and environmental compliance requirements are addressed.
The RAF does not cover the cost of engineering studies and airframe modifications needed for custom installation of project-specific equipment and instrumentation. Such costs must be budgeted separately through a contract with PNNL or Battelle. When requested, RAF staff will assist users in estimating these costs.
For users associated with DOE's Atmospheric Science Program, DOE covers all base operating costs (hangar rental and utilities, airport fees, aircraft fuel and maintenance, and flight crew training) and all operating and logistical costs for field deployment of the G-1 and its flight and RAF field support crew. Other users, through a contract with PNNL or Battelle, are charged a fixed hourly rate for aircraft usage, fuel, and labor and applicable offsite costs for the PNNL flight and field support crew. The rate for aircraft usage varies from year-to-year with changing maintenance costs and aircraft utilization.
For more information or to arrange for use of the RAF, contact RAFmanager@pnl.gov